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By Hammad Zaidi | May 6, 2014

Welcome to Going Bionic, #210! Last week we discussed the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival, so as promised, this week we’re entering the domain of the 54th annual Cannes Film MarketWhile I’d love to call these two globally significant events twins, I can’t, because the film market is thirteen years younger. However, the market is just as significant as its big brother, because buyers from around the word flock to it with wide eyes and open checkbooks.

Before I dive into the film market, let me first go over some main differences between the market and the festival.

The Film Festival vs. The Film Market – The Intent
The Festival de Cannes (Cannes Film Festival) is about celebrating great films, while the Marche du Film (Cannes Film Market) is about celebrating great film sales. Thus, while the filmmakers of the official selection films in the festival long to see a “10” on the jury scorecards, all buyers at the film market long to see zeros, as in several zeros after a big starting number to signify the sale of a film.

The Film Festival vs. The Film Market – The Numbers
The 2014 Cannes Film Festival has programmed 18 features and 16 shorts, while the Cannes Film Market houses north of 4,000 features, and north of 2,000 short films. Now don’t get me wrong; bigger isn’t always better, because most filmmakers would rather be one of 18 “official selection” films, than one of 4,000 films in the market that vie for attention from buyers.

The Film Festival vs. The Film Market – The Career Value
No matter how you slice the cinematic pizza, thriving at the Cannes Film Festival will always provide you with a greater career boost than doing the same at the Cannes Film Market (except, of course if your film breaks market sales records).  We’ve clarified a few key differences between the festival and the market, so now let’s discuss key elements of the market.

The Participants
With over 20,000 film professionals present, the Cannes Film Market boats 11,700 participants from 5,049 companies from 108 countries. That includes 397 exhibitors, 1,500 sales agents, 3,200 producers, 2,300 theatrical distributors, and 790 festival programmers. Thus, once your film is represented at Cannes, it is literally represented to the world’s buyers.

Since I’ve written about the Cannes Film Market in the past, instead of just giving you a division-by-division overview of the market, I’d rather shed light on two newer divisions that all filmmakers should be aware of.

The Doc Corner
With over 300 feature-length documentaries completed in the last 12 months, available to be viewed by buyers, festival programmers, and distributors, the Doc Corner has positioned itself as a one-stop-shop for documentaries worldwide. Filmmakers can meet with buyers at tables set aside for deal making (there are many deals to be made on documentaries worldwide, but most of those deals don’t originate in the United States). So, if you have a doc that needs to get out to the world’s buyers, the Doc Corner is the perfect starting point.

Next Pavilion
The Next Pavilion focuses on what’s next in cinema. From crowd funding to discovering new ways of financing, to engaging in discussions with industry leaders of tomorrow’s technology, this strategically ambitious event inspires more than just your creative juices; it inspires the unbridled possibilities of tomorrow.

Okay, friends. That’s what I have for you today. As always, thank you for lending me your eyes, and I’d be honored to borrow them again next Tuesday, when I will be in Cannes. Until then, have a great week! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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